Most of cartoon fans are definitely also interested in Japanese culture. Anime is largely based on the needs and expectations of Japanese fans, which leads to the creation of a distinct form of entertainment that feels unique while still representing Japanese perspectives and social environments. its creator.
While many anime series are not concerned with the mundane, they instead explore the possibilities of the medium using the supernatural, fantasy or Science Fiction. However, there are also shows that are born out of the creators’ passion for their homeland, highlighting the beauty of Japan’s specific traditions and culture, and introducing these to world in general.
10 Kono Oto Tomare!: Sounds of life
Not too different from anime that focus on school clubs, Kono Oto Tomare!: Sounds of Life revolves around a koto club that is at risk of disbanding due to lack of members. However, things change for the better when delinquent Chika Kudou suddenly declares his desire to join the club, motivated by a desire to better understand his late grandfather.
Eventually, more and more members joined, united by their passion for traditional koto music and seeking to master the skill of playing the Japanese string instrument. Although its focus on traditional Japanese music earns its inclusion on this list, Kono Oto Tomare!: Sounds of Life also has strong themes of friendship and perseverance.
Chihayafuru’s emphasis lies on karuta, a competitive Japanese game in which players must quickly identify and receive cards based on classical Japanese poetry. The story follows three main characters and childhood friends: Arata, a talented karuta player, Chihaya, who is introduced to the game and inspired by Arata, and Taichi, who gradually falls in love with the game. play throughout the series.
Besides exploring their passion for karuta and individual competitive journeys, the show was also praised for its well-written characters and themes of friendship and determination. While it may be safe to say that few viewers were previously aware of karuta, no one could witness this story without appreciating the game.
8 notes of Snow White
Those Snow White Notes earn its place on this list thanks to its emphasis on traditional Japanese music and cultural heritage, focusing on the shamisen, a distinctively Japanese string instrument. The film follows Setsu Sawamura, who despite his respect for the instrument, has difficulty finding his own sound when playing it. However, as he meets and connects with more people, including the club members who learned the shamisen craft from him, Setsu begins to understand the power of music and culture.
Barakamon follows protagonist Seishuu Handa, a talented calligrapher with a hot temper who is sent to the Goto Islands by his father after reacting inappropriately to criticism of his art. While his time away from his comfortable life in Tokyo is supposed to be for self-reflection, Seishuu quickly realizes that moments of peace are hard to come by when surrounded by curious neighbors and overflowing children. full of energy.
Barakamon is not only a beautiful presentation of calligraphy and rural life on the Japanese island, but also an inspiring story about the importance of finding one’s place and ending connect with others.
6 Tsurune: Kazemai High School Kyudo Club
Tsurune: Kazemai High School’s Kyudo Club revolves around kyudo, the Japanese martial art of archery. The story follows Minato Narumiya, who fell in love with kyudo after first hearing the word ‘tsurune’ – the sound made by a bowstring when an arrow is released.
The show focuses on Minato and his kyudo club, who want to learn and practice the sport together, as well as compete in regional tournaments, highlighting their efforts and aspirations in this process. As for kyudo, it is said to be a beautiful and graceful sport, while also being difficult to master, requiring perfect discipline and concentration.
March 5 Comes Like a Lion
March Comes In Like a Lion follows Rei Kiriyama, a 17-year-old professional shogi player who seems to have trouble with everything other than the Japanese strategy board game, influenced by his traumatic past. . Although he cannot communicate with others, he still succeeds in connecting with the three Kawamoto sisters, the eldest of whom is determined to take care of him and help him open up more.
The film’s connection to Japanese culture is not limited to shogi, as the Kawamoto sisters’ grandfather, with whom they lived, also ran a traditional Japanese confectionery shop. Furthermore, it’s a truly powerful and unique story of redemption and self-discovery.
Hanayamata is about Naru Sekiya, a shy girl waiting for her chance to become like the magical princesses she admires. She stumbles upon what she believes is a fairy, then learns that “fairy” is just an exchange student, Hana N. Fountainstand, who admires yosakoi, a traditional Japanese dance .
Together, they form the yosakoi club, improving their dancing skills and gaining confidence in the process. Hanayamata not only beautifully introduces yosakoi to audiences, but also successfully portrays the journey of people who work hard to pursue their passions, overcome obstacles, and grow in the process.
3 Hanasaku Iroha: Flowers bloom for tomorrow
After her mother decides to run away with her boyfriend, Ohana Matsumae is suddenly forced to move from Tokyo to rural Japan, living and working at her grandmother’s boarding house. Although balancing study and work was not an easy task, Ohana ultimately found both joy and opportunities to grow in her job as she interacted with her colleagues and guests. We all have our own stories and difficulties. Besides masterfully exploring themes of growth and self-discovery, Hanasaku Iroha: Blossoms for Tomorrow also captivatingly depicts the working life of a traditional Japanese hot springs inn The village is located in a quiet rural area.
2 Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju
True to its name, Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju revolves around the art of rakugo, a traditional form of Japanese comedy storytelling. The story follows several generations of performers, one of which is represented by Yakumo, a famous practitioner of rakugo.
After watching one of his performances and being deeply moved by it, Yotaro, recently released from prison, asked to become his apprentice. Although the typical anime television motifs of love and ambition are not ignored, the film still places a significant focus on the traditional art of storytelling, the difficulty of preserving and passing on culture, and the lives of others. Artists’ struggle to adapt to an ever-changing world.
1 Hikaru no Go
Hikaru no Go revolves around the popular strategy game Go, believed by some to be the world’s oldest board game. Although not clearly native to Japan, it is especially popular in the country. The film tells the story of Hikaru Shindou, who accidentally awakens the spirit of the ancient Go master, Fujiwara no Sai. Although he initially had no interest in the game, his passion was sparked by his rival and classmate Akira Touya. As a Shonen game, the theme of passion and growth is already present, but the strategy and psychology behind Go matches are not ignored either.
Not all cartoon The series aims to be realistic or grounded, with many of the characteristics noted above in favor of creative settings and high-stakes action, which certainly have their own merits. But sometimes, anime creators choose to take a step back and allow themselves to be inspired by their country’s history and culture, finding new ways to reveal lesser-known traditions to the audience. world of learning.